Children’s Page

I was born in Clark County, Winchester, Kentucky, in the year of 1845. I do not know exactly the month or day. My mother had two other children besides myself. Of those two one is living and the other is dead. My master's name was John Bell Bruner. I used to quite frequently see him and my mother fighting over her children.

About this time I was about 8 years old…When I was about 10 years old a man from Lexington by the name of Allen offered $800 for me. My master told him he would not sell me and he also stated that I was just growing into money, that I would soon be worth $1,000.

Peter Bruner

              Excerpts from A Slave’s Adventures Toward Freedom.

Peter Bruner, an enslaved African American from Winchester, Kentucky, tried many times to escape his master.  Eventually he was successful and was able to make his way to Camp Nelson in Jessamine County where he joined the 12th US Heavy Artillery.  After the Civil War he came back to Winchester to see his mother and then left for Ohio.  He found work as a janitor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he learned to read and write.  He then wrote his autobiography A Slave’s Adventures Toward Freedom


History Detectives


History Detectives—We are on the hunt for words associated with Peter Bruner and the Civil War.  Below is a list of words that help tell the story of Peter.  Your job is to find each of these hidden words within the puzzle. Click  here to see the puzzle.

    Artillery     Bowling Green

    Camp Nelson    Civil War

    Confederacy    Emancipation

    Forts     Irvine

    Lincoln     Miami University

    Oxford Ohio    Peter Bruner

    Runaway     Slavery

    Tannery     Union


The Story of Peter Bruner


Visit the Bluegrass Heritage Museum to see an exhibit recounting stories from his autobiography and original documents tracing his history.  The exhibit is located in the Agriculture Room of the museum. 

At The Bluegrass Heritage Museum we believe that a museum should be shared and enjoyed by everyone in the community. Watch this space for more children’s events and activities.


Be Sure to Check out our “Second Thursday” Programs Click Here

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